Unusual Jellyfish Encounter

Sometimes a simple weekend away turns out to be absolutely perfect.  We recently spent three days at Wilsons Promontory, inside Refuge Cove.  The weather was brilliant. We sailed slowly from Port Albert on the Friday morning and briskly back on the Sunday afternoon.  For three days we chose to stay put, having spider webbed ourselves into a wee nook at the northern end of this iconic spot, but it was not without excitement! We don’t normally like to stay at Refuge Cove, as it is often crowded and the holding is ordinary.  But hidden in our little bay, we were well sheltered and had this tiny spot to ourselves, well away from other boats.  The water was not too cold.  We snorkeled, went for a walk on the beach, read on board, and simply relaxed and enjoyed our surroundings.


Anchored in our nook


Jewel next to our rudder!

The excitement came when we noticed a few little jellyfish gently floating around the boat.  Unperturbed by the tentacles, we had to get close to them and photograph them. From the boat they looked like little black pincushions about 4 or 5 cm in diameter, but when you got close, they were actually spotted red over a pinkish white gelatinous body and tentacles.  Some had long extending tentacles, others only had short ones on the margins of the umbrella, and ribbon like ones from the center.  They probably would have stung us if we let them touch us, but we did not, although at times there were funny contortions and splashing happening to move away from them.  For three days, we were in and out of the water, sharing our nook with these enchanting creatures and marveled at our photos afterward. We later found out they are a not often seen species: the   and so we recorded our sighting with the Atlas of Living Australia, an online resource which provides information on species and biodiversity.

Snorkeling in temperate waters is beautiful. The water is greener than in the tropics; kelp, seagrass and seaweed replace corals, and although fish are less colourful, they are still plentiful.  The hidden beauty of what is under the surface continues to fascinate us.

Here are a few photos.  There were lots of particles floating in the water, which accounts for some of the speckled images, but as Wade says, “Don’t worry about it, that is the way it was, it’s like complaining about seeing green grass where cows are grazing!”  He has a point!

24 thoughts on “Unusual Jellyfish Encounter

  1. What an incredible captures you have of the jellyfish, they are simply MAGNIFICENT – I on the other-hand would have been on deck cheering you on, lol! 😉

    • Yes some people thought it was a bit dary to be in the water with them, but it was so fascinating to watch them! They can change direction, dive, cone to the surface at will! You just have to watch yourself!

    • It was a really special weekend, Maree… but one of the jellies got me on the arm! I did not realise till much later… it’s itchy like nettles!

  2. These are brilliant Chris and exciting! I enjoy your underwater shots immensely.. and well, all of them. Thanks for sharing. Really amazing stuff!!

  3. So wonderful! I love unexpected surprises like this, you sure took advantage of your good fortune. The speckles in the water lend themselves well to the textures on the jellies. Such a brilliant water color and love seeing all the details in the jellyfish too. Glad to read you had a relaxing 3 day adventure. Well captured!

    • Thanks for your kind feedback Carrie, yes this was a really special 3 days. The water was full of floating particles, so I have many shots that were not usable, but I kept trying. And yes the aqua colour was surprising, particularly since these waters are temperate…

    • Thanks Katie. yes the B&W worked really well on that one, quite striking… and I’ll tell you a little secret: it took all the speckles away 😉 but interestingly the effect does not work on all of the shots!

  4. HI FOLKS everything seems to be going great for you so lap it up. How do you ever think you can settle back to your work positions after this amazing adventure,. Cheers Terry, (hope you win lotto

    • Oh Terry a lotto win would do nicely! It is particularly hard to settle back this year, but as you can see even weekend escapes yield great pleasures!

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